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7 of the best tarot card decks for your next reading

These sets are great for beginners, as well as those proficient in tarot

Rebecca Fearn
Monday 31 May 2021 07:00
<p>Get in touch with your spirituality with these creatively presented decks</p>

Get in touch with your spirituality with these creatively presented decks

Tarot cards have become increasingly popular, especially user-friendly decks you can use from home. There’s a vast range of decks available online, and finding the one that speaks to you is important. So, we wanted to help on your journey by picking out seven of the best tarot card decks around currently.

Our writer reviewed the tarot decks by a number of means. First, she attended a tarot reading at wellness space She’s Lost Control, which helped her to understand the workings of tarot. Each deck was then analysed by how it looks, the quality of the cards, and the different illustrations, as well as if they came with a guidebook. The tester also tried out a reading alone with each set, to see how they worked for her.

Before we get into which cards to choose, it’s important to understand what tarot cards can actually do for us, and how we should go about finding a set that works for us personally. We spoke with tarot reader and teacher Kasia Gwilliam (who our tester went to see for her own reading) to understand more about the art of tarot.

“Tarot is a beautiful way of exploring where we see ourselves and our situations in the images presented to us,” she explained. “Tarot cards are wonderful tools for self-reflection. The cards (no matter which deck you choose) contain symbols, archetypes, elements, characters and themes that allow us to peek into our inner and outer worlds from the perspective of curious observers.”

“Decks are split into two distinct groups: the Minor and Major Arcana, the former offers us reflections into our day-to-day and changeable situations and the latter the archetypal rites of passage, karmic stages and overarching themes or lessons.”

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When it comes to picking the right deck for you, Gwilliam believes it’s all about intuition. “When seeking out your first tarot cards, it is good to explore and to look at a range of different decks,” she says. “I would recommend getting a deck that has a range of figures, that shows somewhat realistic scenes and ultimately, that speaks to you. You should feel happy, safe and curious about your deck. When you find the right one, you’ll know. It may even feel like they have chosen you.”

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The best tarot decks for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – The original rider waite tarot deck: £10.79,
  • Best for beginners – Neo tarot: £22,
  • Best for more experienced readers – The illuminated tarot deck, £16,
  • Best for fuss-free readings – Trinity tarot shop genderless 78 card deck: £23.40,
  • Best for something different – Goddess tarot deck, £58,
  • Best for modern witches – Solar wanderers tarot: £48.16,
  • Best for stunning design – Official luna soleil tarot deck and guide: £53.08,

Rider waite the original tarot deck

Best: Overall

No tarot deck round-up is complete without a mention of the Rider Waite cards, which many say are the original and still the best. First drawn way back in 1909, this traditional set is perfect for long-standing tarot loyalists who like to do things by the book. The illustrations are bright and vibrant, and the designs give you much to think about. As well as being beloved by tarot professionals, the Rider Waite deck is actually also ideal for beginners, as many of the online guides feature meanings that are based on these cards.

Jerico Mandybur neo tarot

Best: For beginners

This deck encourages users to incorporate tarot reading as a part of their self-care routine. Created by tarot reader Jerico Mandybur, this affordable set is a brilliant all-rounder, especially for beginners. As well as the 78-card deck, it comes with a detailed guidebook which explains the meaning of each card, and helps in your journey to interpretation, no matter what you pull. The cards themselves are fairly modern, illustrated in bright, vibrant colours with bold figures. The cards and book come packaged in a chic-looking box, and look far more expensive than just £22.

Caitlin Keegan the illuminated tarot deck

Best: For more experienced readers

Designed by Caitlin Keegan, this deck comes in a beautifully luxe gold-foiled navy presentation box, making it ideal for gift giving. The 53 cards are a good size, and the illustrations are modern, bold, and incredibly colourful. As well as being used for tarot, these cards can also be used for traditional card games, making them a great two-in-one buy. However, if being used solely for tarot, these may be better for more advanced readers, since the cards bear only images, and no text. The set does come with a brief explanation booklet, but it may be a little simplistic to help with beginners.

Trinity Tarot Shop genderless 78 card deck

Best: For fuss-free readings

These cards are perfect for those looking for a simple, no-frills deck that won’t complicate things. They’re square-shaped and compact in size, and the illustrations (by Ari Wisner) are drawn to be minimalist and understated. The deck includes a full set of 22 major arcana, 56 minor arcana cards, as well a one-sheeter with brief prompts for each one. The packaging is also plastic-free and — along with the paper the cards are printed on — recyclable.

Faye Orlove goddess tarot deck

Best: For something different

This is without a doubt the ultimate tarot deck for millennials, and lovers of pop culture icons everywhere. Designed beautifully by Faye Orlove, it features celebrities, activists, and heroes as each major and minor arcana. The women include the likes of Stevie Nicks, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham and Greta Thunberg, and users of the cards are encouraged to tune into the energy of each of them from the cards they pull. We love the fun, youthful feel this deck brings to at-home readings. The only thing the set is missing is an explainer booklet, but this is something you can easily find online from an alternative source.

Casey Zabala solar wanderer’s tarot

Best: For modern witches

Created by Casey Zabala, this deck has been designed for the “modern witches” among us. The black and white line drawings on each card – drawn in a folk-art style – give it a sense of ease and simplicity, as well as feeling spiritual and rich in meaning. As well as this minimalistic white set, you can also buy this deck in black, but it’s important to note that if you’re newer to tarot and need a guide of how to read these cards specifically, you’ll need to pick up the accompanying book for an additional £18.

Terra Soleil Co luna soleil tarot deck and guide

Best: For stunning design

These visually impressive cards are enough to wow any tarot fan, and to make at home readings extra special. Designed by Annalise Dragonetti, the founder and creative director of Terra Soleil, the cards are designed using flecks of gold shimmer, and come in a number of colour options, from black to powdery pink. As well as the cards, you will also receive the following with your purchase, which justifies the spend (slightly) more: a linen ritual bag, a hand-selected quartz crystal, and a bi-fold instruction guide to help you read your cards. If it’s stunning design you’re looking for, we would definitely recommend these.

The verdict: Tarot cards

For those new to tarot, we’d recommend opting for the Neo Tarot cards, thanks to their accompanying detailed guide; the box comes with everything you would need for starting out. Saying that, you can’t go wrong with the original Rider Waite deck, and if you want to try something cooler and more modern, try the Goddess Deck for some hi-low fun.

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